This is an installment of our Interview with a Flowgi series, in which we feature our many talented Flow Yoga team members in a Q&A format.

FLOW BLOG:  Hi, thanks for joining us. Where are you from and what’s your family life like?  

GM: I’ve always lived in Northern Virginia and I grew up in Herndon.  My parents both grew up in the Northern Virginia area,(McLean and Oakton).  I have two younger sisters, Julie and Charlotte.  Julie is a PHD grad student at UNC, and Charlotte just graduated from Princeton.

 FB: Did you play a lot of different sports growing up?

 GM: Growing up baseball was my main sport, but I also tried swimming, golf and tennis.  In high school I played football for a few years, but baseball was always my main sport.

 FB: Do you have a favorite sports team?

 GM: My favorite sports team is the Washington Nationals.  Let’s go Nats!

FB: How would you describe a typical class with you?

 GM: My typical class is both challenging and fun, and I want students to leave feeling like they have worked hard and had a great experience.  I want students to feel their own strength, and enjoy the movements we go through.  I like savasana most after a class where I’ve tried my hardest while listening to my body, learning a little more about myself in the process.

 FB: Did you take any cool trips last summer?

 I went on the Flow Costa Rica retreat in April, which was awesome. It was a great time in an amazing country.  I spent some time in upstate New York this summer as well, but Costa Rica was absolutely a highlight.

FB: Any pets?

 GM: My parents take care of the family dog we had growing up, a Brittney Spaniel named Boo, but I don’t have any pets of my own.

 FB: Your bio mentions that you started practicing in a gym and that you also suffered an injury, how did all this go down and how did you arrive at Flow from there?

 GM: I was pretty active in high school and college but after entering the working world, and sitting at a desk for a long time each day I wasn’t feeling as healthy.  I decided to get active, by going back to the gym, and joining rec leagues, playing kickball and softball. I did a little yoga to stretch out after lifting but I did not practice a lot, though I enjoyed yoga when I took classes at the gym.

It was a fairly typical week for me about 5 years ago; I lifted weights, played kickball, and softball on consecutive days.  Then I woke up the next day and couldn’t sit up.  It was a feeling that scared and surprised me.  I was able to make it to my doctor who thought it was a muscle spasm, and I was prescribed rest and medication.  When that didn’t help very much I started physical therapy.  My lower back felt weak, near the right hip.  I was able to sit, but when I stood for longer than 10 minutes I would get pain in my back, hip and glute that just got worse and worse until I could sit and rest.

After a few months of pain and not super effective treatment I had an MRI taken of my back and my doctors saw a large herniation in a disk in my lower back (L4-L5).  I was recommended surgery, but luckily I was able to regain strength in my back and core to stop the pain. I was told to keep a strong core to prevent pain, and yoga was recommended as part of my rehab treatment.

I started to practice more at the gym, with less lifting, and then one day I asked the yoga teacher at the gym where she practiced, and she recommended Flow Yoga in Ashburn.  My first class was with Susan, and I knew right then that the yoga at our studio was for me.

I’ve had a few flare-ups over the last few years, and I’m always aware that this injury could come back to haunt me, but I feel strong and think that doing yoga is some of the best treatment for my particular injury.  

 FB: You also mentioned your job in your bio, how does yoga help relieve stress for you as both a teacher and a student?

 GM: Yoga helps me to relieve stress from my job by helping me be present and focused in the moment.  When I am practicing I am trying to be present in my body and movements by focusing on my actions and postures.  When I am focused on my practice I’m not worrying about the meetings or conference calls or any of the work stuff off the mat.  I also feel that after a hard sweaty class I have a better view of the work/life balance.  If I can do the hard yoga work, office work isn’t as intimidating.  When I am leading a class, I am present and focused on the flow, the breath and the class.  When I am in front of a class going through the postures, I am right there in the moment.

FB: Who are some of the teachers and students who inspire you the most?

GM I work with a Coach and trainer, Mauricio Valle, who I really enjoy working with and who is constantly challenging me and pushing me further.  I enjoy practicing with so many of my fellow Flow teacher and students as well.

FB: Who are some of the artists you’d put in the perfect yoga playlist for one of your classes?

GM I really enjoy the Black Keys, and I try and have some of their music in my yoga playlists. Trevor Hall also seems to keep popping up in my classes.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest